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Perpendicular hard drives hit Australia

Seagate started shipping its first perpendicular hard drive to the Australian market on Monday, which the company said marks the beginning of the end for its traditional linear hard drive products.Perpendicular technology, which has also been adopted by rival Toshiba, will allow hard drive capacities to increase at least fivefold over the next five years and possibly tenfold, according to Sam Zavaglia, senior field application engineer at Seagate.

Seagate started shipping its first perpendicular hard drive to the Australian market on Monday, which the company said marks the beginning of the end for its traditional linear hard drive products.

Perpendicular technology, which has also been adopted by rival Toshiba, will allow hard drive capacities to increase at least fivefold over the next five years and possibly tenfold, according to Sam Zavaglia, senior field application engineer at Seagate.

"We are not even scraping the paint off the surface yet... [capacities will be] fivefold of the current linear capacity (120GB) in five years. That is what they say definitely can happen but in time they are assuming it will be tenfold," said Zavaglia, which could mean a standard notebook drive will be able to hold well over 1TB.

Zavaglia said the performance of the new Momentus 5400.3 perpendicular model compares with a linear Seagate 160GB 7200rpm dive even though it operates at just 5400rpm. He explained that because the perpendicular drive's platters have a greater density of data, the disks do not need to spin as fast in order to provide a similar throughput of data.

"If you have more bits per inch, more bits pass under the head within a single revolution so a greater area of density means greater performance and speed," said Zavaglia.

The launch of the Momentus 5400.3, which is available in Australian shops from today, marks an end to Seagate's linear hard drive products.

"Every new product we now ship will be perpendicular. It is right across the range -- the next SCSI drive, desktop drives and notebook drives. Whatever linear drives are on the market today will be the last linear recording drives from Seagate," said Zavaglia, who pointed out that the company's 1-inch drives may take as long as 24 months before they use perpendicular technology.

The 160GB Momentus 5400.3 is priced at AU$599 inclusive of GST.